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Old 01-13-2012, 07:02 AM   #1 (permalink)
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How long does it take for the Liver to repair?

I was watching Dr. Drew the other day and he was talking about the long term effects of alcohol on the liver and he showed an actual liver that belonged to an alcoholic that had like 30 plus years of drinking on it. It was a terrible site! To think that we do that to our bodies is enough to make you want to quit! But what I didnt hear him say was about how long it takes for your liver to start recovering after you stop drinking. Does anyone have any knowledge or experience with this? I have about 5 years of serious drinking, and 2 of moderate to light drinking on me so Im just currious...
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Old 01-13-2012, 07:12 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi Sara

I've recently stopped drinking and was also curious about this. I read that the liver is the only major organ that will repair itself-to an extent. 25% or something. I imagine that as soon as you stop drinking the liver will start to detox and then once it is no longer being fed alcohol will start to repair. I think it takes 4-5 days for the physical side of things to stop when you stop drinking so pretty quickly.
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Old 01-13-2012, 07:23 AM   #3 (permalink)
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From what I was reading on the subject, it's case by case. Family history (genetics), how much you drank, your age, your gender, how long you drank for, your drinking patterns etc, all have a part to play.
A good indicator of your liver's health as you recover, is if you have a blood test every few months to check your enzyme levels.
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Old 01-13-2012, 07:50 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I found an interesting old thread on liver disease.

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...planation.html (Liver Disease: The Explanation)
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Old 01-13-2012, 07:57 AM   #5 (permalink)
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i drank heavily every day for 17 years, while also abusing prescription narcotics the last 3 years. i went to the doctor for a liver enzyme test the week i got clean. i was in trouble, but hadn't crossed the line. 5 months sober my liver had returned to normal.

but it different for every person.
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Old 01-13-2012, 08:15 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Cirrhotic livers do not repair at all. Good reason to stop drinking now and not wait for the point-of-no-return, which is cirrhosis. If your skin is turning yellow, you are in the end stages of liver degeneration, but there is still hope of self-repair even then, if the whole liver has not become cirrhotic.

CIRRHOSIS is considered by most experts as a self-perpetuating irreversible process.


For those who like scientific jargon: "Regenerative nodules may form in the fibrous septa but they are not necessary for the histological diagnosis of cirrhosis: as nodules alone without fibrosis do not constitute cirrhosis. In this disease, the nodularity of the liver is mostly the result of fibrosis dissecting the parenchyma in small uniform acinar or subacinar nodules in micronodular types and in lobular and plurilobular large non-uniform nodules in macronodular forms. Regenerative nodules develop in the midst of scars but are a late phenomenon. They are important, however, for the advancement and neoplastic transformation of the cirrhosis."

(Anthony P.P. et al. J.Clin.Pathol. 31:395,1978)
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Old 01-13-2012, 08:45 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Scarred tissue doesn't repair. Keep staying stopped, eat healthfully!
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Old 01-13-2012, 09:37 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by failedtaper View Post

CIRRHOSIS is considered by most experts as a self-perpetuating irreversible process.
Yes. Those of us who have seen Rain in my Heart will remember the man who was dying of cirrhosis after years of sobriety.
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